November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. It is a time when writers all over the world spend thirty days writing a full-length novel of 50,000 words or more. This year, I’ve decided to join the ranks. Have you?
According to their website, NaNoWriMo began in 1999. The organization grew into a non-profit in 2005 and in 2015, they had 431,626 participants, including 80,137 students and educators in the Young Writers Program over six continents.
As NaNoWriMo expanded, what constituted finishing a 50,000 page novel did as well. Now, a participant can write a novel, a collection of short stories, or whatever type of writing will get you to the 50,000 word mark before December 1.
I’ve wanted to take part in NaNoWriMo for years. There is nothing like knowing fellow writers from around the world are all working on a novel at the same time. However, come November each year, I found myself in the middle of a project or without a story idea, leaving me flatfooted to think about beginning such an undertaking.
This year was different. I actually had an idea! Whether it will turn out to be a novel or a short story collection or something else entirely, only time will tell. It will likely not even see light beyond my computer screen. But the characters intrigue me and I am curious to discover their story.
Will I be able to write 50,000 words in thirty days? Who knows. At least I’m writing and enjoying the comrade of other writers. It’s not too late to jump in yourself. Each day gets easier as the words begin to flow. There is no pressure to publish what you have written. Just write. Without editing.
Then, once November is over, you can look back at all you have accomplished. Perhaps you will like what you see enough to begin the process of revising and refining. Perhaps it will be the first step in a new book that other will get to read as well.
Picture courtesy of NaNoWriMo 2016 – http://nanowrimo.org/press